My Social Media Diet – Part 3
I was recently a guest on the Art Condition podcast. In that episode, we briefly talked about taking time off from social media and what it brought me. Because people seemed interested and I had more to say on the topic, I started writing with the intent of making a Twitter thread on my experiment. It turned out to be QUITE a read – especially for our easily-distracted social media attention spans. So I divided it up into 4 easy-peasy short reads that I’ll be posting throughout the week.
What does this mean for artists that need social media?
I know a lot of artists’ objection against leaving social media is the lack of “visibility”. One of the questions that got asked live on the podcast (and I’m paraphasing here) is whether I noticed a decrease in the amount of jobs that I found.
For one, I was already set with a big commission that meant I wasn’t able to take on other work except for some small jobs for returning clients. Two, I was *containing* my time on social media, not completely stopping. That meant I could still be present, even though I wouldn’t see whatever unfolded until my one hour per day rolled around.
I also want to note that while I wasn’t super active on social media, I hadn’t stopped connecting to people. I was still emailing Art Directors my work, setting up video calls and asking current clients to keep me in mind for future projects, or recommend my work to others. I was just avoiding a lot of “noise” that usually gets thrown at us throughout the day.
There are more than enough artists that aren’t highly visible to us as consumers that are able to make a (comfortable) living off of their art nonetheless. That’s because they are well-known with businesses. They email, perform great work that gets them hired again or recommended to others, and made use of in-person networking before we had a pandemic on our hands. Maybe they had an in-house job for a couple years before they started freelancing that got the ball rolling.
In terms of using other ways to connect to consumers if you’re an indie artist – I was just listening to another episode of Art Condition and both Gavin and Blake said they built up their mailing list, and did that mostly through people signing up at conventions. The sign-ups are people that are saying that they want to hear from you, and if they bought anything from your booth, it’s obvious they like what you’re making – so why not let them know what you’re up to? I know conventions aren’t an option for most of us right now, but I’m thinking a bit longer term than tomorrow here.
If you think social media is crucial to your visibility as an artist, that’s fair. I can’t judge everyone’s way to run a business and what attracts their clients. However, if you’re reading this, you’re probably intrigued by the idea of lessening your time on social media or abandoning it altogether.